(WIVB) — As a star defensive end, Louisville’s YaYa Diaby showed his explosive talent, a talent that is set to bring him to the next level.

Diaby’s unique combination of power and quickness resulted in success with the Cardinals. In 2022, he started all 13 games and picked up nine sacks, part of 37 total tackles on the season. 14 of those tackles were for a loss. He was part of a team that won eight games, including Louisville’s first bowl win since 2019. For his efforts, he was named third team All-ACC.

However, he showed this past year that he is not just a pass rusher.

“With the run, I take pride in that as well,” Diaby said. “I take real passion with the run I would say certain guys just want to pass rush and they don’t think about the run I’m an all around guy and if you get me you got both.”

Several scouts have praised what they say is an explosive first step.

A projected fourth or fifth round pick on the draft’s third day, Diaby wants teams to know that they will be getting a high-upside pass rusher who is willing to work to be the best he can be. His route was not to Power 6 immediately as he played a year of JUCO ball at Georgia Military College before coming to Louisville, so working to find his spot is familiar to him.

It’s believed that there’s still some untapped potential, so he is willing to do the work.

“They’re going to get a guy that is hungry a guy that’s going to come every day and work every day and be about the team and not about myself,” Diaby said. “I’m a guy that loves to be in the locker room loves to be in the film room loves to workout so I do every little thing that’s going to help my career grow.”

Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.

Josh Reed is an award-winning journalist who has served as News 4’s Sports Director since 2015. See more here.